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a group of “spiritual Christians” (dukhovnye khristiane), a religious sect in Russia.

The sect of the Molokans evolved in Tambov Province in the late 18th century and then spread to a number of other regions of Russia. Its founder is considered to be Semen Uklein, originally a member of the Dukhobors. The Molokans rejected the church, the church hierarchy, fasting, icons, and the Eastern Orthodox ritual of worship. Their prayer meetings were held in houses of prayer, and the sect was led by presbyter-elders. Biblical texts were sung at prayer meetings.

The Molokan movement was one of the forms taken by the peasant anticlerical movement. It arose in the atmosphere of the growing crisis of the feudal serfholding system. The forms of worship showed Baptist influences. Having challenged the official church, the Molokans were persecuted by the tsarist government. A process of social stratification among the Molokans and the emergence of a wealthy elite and its usurpation of authority within the sect led to the corruption of the sect; a number of its members joined the Baptists. In the early 20th century, there were 1.2 million Molokans. The sect began to disintegrate after the October Revolution of 1917. Only small groups of Molokans remain in the USSR—in Transcaucasia, the Ukraine, and a few places in the RSFSR (such as Stavropol’ Krai and Tambov Oblast).


Druzhinin, V. Molokane. [Leningrad] 1930.
Bonch-Bruevich, V. D. “Sektantstvo i staroobriadnichestvo v pervoi polovine XIX v.” Izbr. soch., vol. 1. Moscow, 1959.
Klibanov, A. I. Religioznoe sektantstvo i sovremennost’, Moscow, 1969.
Malakhova, I. A. Dukhovnye khristiane. Moscow, 1970.
References in periodicals archive ?
Although they preferred the term Spiritual Christians, they also used the term Molokan, which could signify not only their liberation from Orthodox tradition but also their commitment to the pure spiritual milk of God's word (1 Peter 2:2).
Voronin had been a member of the Molokan sect, an indigenous Russian sect with Quaker-like beliefs.
There are a handful of small Molokan communities in the Southland, but a large Jewish community on the Westside will make keeping a kosher diet easier.
Claiming to be an elder in his own sect of the Molokan faith, in which some members believe that the second commandment against graven images forbids making pictures of individuals, Stackler sued the DMV to require that a license be issued to him without a photo and that it be renewed.
The Government does not provide official figures for numbers of religious adherents, but congregants offered the following unconfirmed estimates: Catholic, both Roman and Mekhitarist (Armenian Uniate) (120,000); Yezidi, an ethnically Kurdish cultural group whose religion includes elements derived from Zoroastrianism, Islam, and animism (40,000 nominal adherents); unspecified "charismatic" Christian (10,000); Jehovah's Witnesses (8,750); Armenian Evangelical Church (8,000); Molokan, an ethnically Russian pacifist Christian group that split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th century (5,000); Baptist (2,000); the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) (2,000); Greek Orthodox (1,200); Seventh-day Adventist (950); Pentecostal (700); Jewish (600); and Baha'i (200).
80) This category protects members of an organized religion with a recognized record of objecting to the photograph requirement, such as the Amish, Molokans, and Hutterites.
Groups that constitute less than 5 percent of the population include Yezidis, an ethnic Kurd cultural group whose religion includes elements derived from Zoroastrianism, Islam, and animism; unspecified "charismatic" Christians; the Armenian Evangelical Church; Molokans, an ethnic Russian pacifist Christian group that split from the Russian Orthodox Church in the 17th-century; Baptists; the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons); Orthodox Christians; Seventh-day Adventists; Pentecostals; Jews; and Baha'is.
These were not only Orthodox Russians, but also Armenians fleeing the Ottoman empire, and even Protestants like the Molokans.
The author does provide some good archival material on the continued existence of religious groups in the period such as Molokans, Baptists, and Seventh Day Adventists.
By tsarist decree of Nicholas I in October 1830, thousands (the author is never very clear about the precise numbers) of Dukhobors, Molokans, and Subbotniks were relocated from their Russian and Ukrainian villages to lands south of the Caucasus Mountains.
Small congregations of Lutherans, Roman Catholics, Baptists, Molokans (Russian Orthodox Old Believers), Seventh-day Adventists, and Baha'is have been present for more than 100 years.
Adherents of other religious groups include Roman Catholics, Baptists, Pentecostals, Seventh-day Adventists, Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Baha'is, Jews, followers of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, Molokans (a Russian group), Messianic Jews (who believe that Jesus is the Messiah), Lutherans, Presbyterians, Hare Krishnas, and other charismatic and evangelical Christian groups.